Welcome to my weekly column for CaughtOffside – click here to subscribe for a Daily Briefing from Fabrizio Romano, plus more columns from Ben Jacobs and Christian Falk!
How will PSG respond to latest Champions League failure?
Paris Saint-Germain are out of the Champions League, under-achieving again in this competition, but what that means for the club’s long-term future and strategy is not that clear. It’s important to remember the reality that Christophe Galtier and Luis Campos come as a package deal, so I don’t see a future with PSG with one but without the other. If we see one of them go, in all likelihood the other one will go too.
Another reality is that they do have to free up some space on their wage bill this summer – they’ve already committed to Milan Skriniar coming in on a free transfer from Inter Milan, they’ve got the contract extension of Marquinhos, which is nearly done, and the Marco Verratti one, which is already signed. Then you’ve also got serious injuries for Neymar and Presnel Kimpembe, who are not necessarily guaranteed to be fit again in time for next season, which affects their status in this summer’s transfer window. There’s also Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos, who are coming towards the ends of their contracts, and there’s the situation with Hugo Ekitike, whose loan becomes permanent if PSG qualify for the Champions League, which is highly likely, so there’s not much wiggle room financially, and not many players in this squad they can cash in on. The obvious exception there is Mbappe, but while he’s under contract there’ll be no desire from PSG to move him on, because without him the whole project falls on its face – he’s the most consistent performer in the squad and he’s the player they want to build around.
In terms of this summer, it looks like PSG will have to find value without spending massive amounts of money. There’ll probably be a certain amount of squad trimming with players coming back from…